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Old 09-22-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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Math is easier than art

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Originally Posted by Qt75Rx1
Let me explain.

Mathematics is essentially the symbolic equivalent of playing with LEGO bricks. One starts from a simple, basic foundation and from there, works methodically, piece-by-logical-piece, from one place to the next. Solving a mathematical problem is, therefore, simply a matter of learning the basics behind the problem, reading up on the commonly used methods of attack, and, if all else fails, trying to find a new method of approaching the problem. So in the end one can essentially understand all of mathematics, if given enough time, if one grasps the concepts-- the rest is just algebra.

Art is a different thing entirely. To become "good" at art requires practice and observation. And practice. And practice. And practice... ad infinitum. One can understand concepts of art just by reading a textbook, but putting them into practice, unlike mathematics, which is all essentially just writing down symbols and manipulating them, requires physical diligence. One must, as it were, train one's physical body to become a keen observer, and one's hands to replicate what one visualizes or observes. It takes years to simply learn how to draw a human being realistically, but one can learn to do an integral in a week or two of instruction. And the process never ends! When one knows how to solve a differential equation, do a symbolic proof, or calculate a standard deviation, one can apply that knowledge to any conceivable future problem. If one has proved a theorem, one can go on to use that theorem to prove other theorems. But with art, one has never "mastered" anything, one is simply further along the line than others.

It's a maddening, frustrating, slow, exhausting, hideous process, art is. I hate drawing, and I hate looking at my drawings as I am drawing them.

Let me tell you how I first learned to do art. The first "artistic" thing I learned to do was to draw perspective. Not people, not animals, not even cars or planes. It was shapes.

It was from a book from the local library, at the age of eight or nine, titled "Learn to draw 3D". I had looked through it and was amazed to see that by following a few simple rules and using a ruler and pencil and paper, one would be able to convincingly portray depth in a two-dimensional surface. Within a few days I had happily set myself to drawing pretty little three-dimensional scenes of houses, landscapes, and spaceships. This is because one, two, and three-person perspective is essentially three-dimensional geometric projection onto a two-dimensional plane: something that can easily be done with a ruler, piece-by-piece, step-by-step. The ability to capture a "world" in a piece of paper, was what fascinated me -- and still does today.

Even now, I feel there's an aesthetic appreciation to looking at a perspective drawing, with ruled guidelines in place and vanishing points still there, and get a little dismayed when I have to erase them. The pure, straight lines, sharp angles, and clean shapes, organized into an orderly pattern, appeal to me on a deep level, and a well-drawn perspective layout gives me the same sense of wholeness that a well-solved mathematical proof does.

This is to say, what I liked initially was art that was mathematical in nature.

You see, I am not very a patient person. I get tired of worrying over minutiae. It's boring. In fact, I've often gotten marked down on math exams because I solved the problem enough to demonstrate that I had understood the principle being tested and left the rest to "algebra". I hate busywork. I hate it when my mind isn't engaged, wrestling with something. And art is nothing if not worrying over minutiae: it's almost entirely busywork aside from the pure planning and conception stage.

What this boils down to is, essentially my conclusion:

Art is easy to grasp, but difficult to execute.
Mathematics can be difficult to grasp, but easy to execute.

Of course, this falls apart at the graduate level when one is expected to come up with interesting new proofs and problems, and the execution can be fiendishly difficult, but what it resolves to, in the end, is that in mathematics the simplest theorems, at the end of the day, are the best. That is, while the process to get there may be difficult, it is expected that once one has one's result and it is proven, the essential truth of it is astonishingly clear and simple. Art, on the other hand, seems to be layers upon layers of obfuscation and mystification. Any layman can understand, if taught, the basics of color theory, but putting it into practice effectively takes hours and hours for a piece, and years and years to truly begin to execute well.

So why do I do it?

Only because nobody else would do it the way I wanted it done -- the images I have in my head -- if I didn't do it myself.
Thoughts?

I personally kind of agree with him.
The idea of art is easy to grasp, but the act of making said art, urgh.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
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learn to draw better
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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I personally don't give a shit.

Also, everyone is different. That can't be applied universally.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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I actually read the title as "Meth is easier than art". Heh...

Also, ai agree.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:41 AM   #5
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There is no such thing as "good art". That is completely subjective and it depends on who you are talking to. In academia, I suppose "good art" is whatever the **** they demand you to do and whatever is closest to the instructions is the best. In math, there is a set way you can solve a problem, there is a definitive answer. Art is completely open-ended, there are absolutely no boundaries. I mean, colored squares can be considered masterpieces just as well as something by Monet or Dali. It all depends.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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Yeah, artistic merit is pretty subjective. But I'd also say we all have a pretty similar compass on what is good and bad, or at least that some stuff is good. I'd simply go down the line and say that it's more based on the individual; some people aren't creative enough to be considered an artistic genius, and some people aren't smart enough to understand relativity - or even use logarithms
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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I disagree... with maths you have to actually think about what you're doing and work out what's the right way to get the answer. There's lots of figuring out involved... I can do it if I'm given a LOT of time to sort my thoughts into some kind of reasonable order, but it's really really slow. Drawing just comes naturally to me though. I don't have to think about it, I just do it. It's easy.

I agree that it's completely subjective, it just depends on what you're good at.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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Indeed it is. Well for some people of course. The left part of the brain controls logic, math, your right arm and reason and the right part controls art, music and your left arm. So it depends on wich part of your brain is more developed :3
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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I'm left handed, so that makes sense XD
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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I'm left handed, so that makes sense XD
Indeed it does. Most artist (singers, composers, players and some times even actors) are left handed
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